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Sally Bedell Smith Education. (2012) The 2012 National Book Festival Sally Bedell Smith, 'Elizabeth the Queen The Life of a Modern Monarch.'

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Philip 10, Britain 6, Washington 6, United States 6, Elizabeth 5, California 5, Windsor 4, London 4, America 3, Maryland 3, Us 3, Kentucky 3, New York City 3, Michele 3, Nancy Reagan 3, Francis 3, Lyndon Johnson 2, Monty Roberts 2, Barbara 2, Laura 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Sally Bedell Smith  Education.  (2012) The 2012 National  
   Book Festival Sally Bedell Smith, 'Elizabeth the Queen The...  

    November 24, 2012
    7:15 - 8:00am EST  

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were flaws in this plan. you don't fight uphill, you fry to have the element of surprise, so tactically he knew that it was unsound. so he took his concerns to his commanders, and his commanders, it was real important to do this big because the high value target, like kevin said, was a really bad guy. he helped finance his men by this gem-smuggling operation. and, in fact, what they later found out through the fbi and cia, some of those gems had even showed up in gem shops in arizona. so he was selling these gems to finance his whole, you know, this whole campaign. and, again, going back to that this is a remote valley, captain kyle walton and others on the team knew tactically that this plan was flawed. but even though they knew that it was flawed, knew that there
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was incredible danger landing the helicopter at the bottom of the valley and that they would have to climb to the top of the valley to get to this compound where they knew the bad guy was surrounded by some of the best mercenaries, so to speak, in the world, these really trained mercenaries who had been fighting the soviets and, for, you know, for that ten years during the 1980s, they still went, and they still went to carry out this mission. and i think, kevin, you can describe a little bit about what happened once they landed. >> okay. so they take off from a base on the border, jalalabad, and they fly into this valley. and there's some concern at this point about the plane. there's a certain window that they had that they could get in and out before the cloud cover came, so they had to work quickly as well before they get stuck. but if you could imagine landing in a helicopter, and, you know, the plan was to land the helicopter and get out.
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but there was so much rubble b and ice, and the ground was so uneven, the helicopter, some of them couldn't even land, so there were guys jumping 10 feet out of the back of these chinook helicopters and landing in these rubble fields. some landed in this river that was running right through the middle of tear landing zone. so they get past that with no real major injuries which that alone is a feat. ten feet, imagine jumping out of that into big gravel, really big boulders. and then they look up, and this valley is a lot, the mountains surrounding this valley are a lot higher than they imagined. they were only looking at satellite images, i mean, i can only equate it to standing in midtown manhattan and looking up at the buildings and just being surrounded on all sides by sheer cliffs. they consolidate their guys, and they start walking towards this village.
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i don't know what you see in your heads for an afghan village. sometimes they're little biscuit-colored mud huts, but this village was literal hi cut into the walls almost, and it was stone houses. these were like castles stacked on top of each other that was lined all the way up and around them, and they were surrounded almost 360 with these stone houses. um, and as they're walking up, it takes them a little while to find a path. but they get to the base of the hill, and the path pretty much cuts back and forth in a zigzag up the hill, switchbacks, as they head up. so i know i've met a few of you here, and i see you guys shaking your heads. you know that's bad, number one, because there's only one way up. you know that you're in the cul-de-sac of a valley now, and they know that you're there, because they hear the helicopters. they hear helicopters in this valley, it's not them. it's not their buddies.
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it's their bad guys, right? it's really quiet as they're walking up. and all of a sudden they see three guys running on the -- luis actually sees three guys running on the top of the valley, and one of them's got a gun. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> from the 12th annual national book festival on the national mall in washington, d.c., sally bedell smith presents her book, "elizabeth the queen: the life of a modern monarch." it's about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much, francis, if that generous introduction. i have to tell you that i'm especially honored to be introduced by francis today because our friendship goes back to the mid 1990s when my husband, stephen, was the
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founding editor of civilization, the wonderful magazine of the library of congress, and francis was his highly capable deputy editor. the magazine, unfortunately, fell victim to the first wave of infatuation with the internetedt and lost its funding, but francis has gone on to be a top editor at "the washington post.n as i've been traveling arounds the country talking about queenn elizabeth ii, the one consistent question that i have heard is what did you learn thati surprised you. at did you learn t surprised you. >> the answer is that there was something unexpected around almost every corner. in my research, i made numerous discoveries about the way the queen goes about her job and about aspects of her character that people don't know about or don't fully appreciate. one of my main goals in writing
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elizabeth the queen was to part the curtain and tell what she was really like, taking the reader as close as possible to elizabeth, the human being, the wife and mother and friend, as well as the highly respected leader. i also wanted to do what none of her other biographers, all of them english, had done. just to explain her strong connection to the united states. not only has she been to this country five times -- 11 times, excuse me, five of them on private holidays, the most vacation time she has been anywhere outside her private estate, some of her and her closest friends are americans, which may be one of the biggest surprises. she has also known every president from harry truman to barack obama with the exception
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of lyndon johnson, who tried, but failed to meet her. i remember being impressed when an official told me at the memorial service at st. paul's cathedral, after the 9/11 attacks, the queen sang every single word of the american national anthem. and i would bet that there aren't any presidents who can sing all of the words to god save the queen. since we are here today, on the national mall, i thought i would focus on the queen's fondness works for this country, those little known and well known, and in so doing, illuminate the queen to help understand her better. it was most often played out in
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state visits here when it was written. one was the first came to washington in 1951, she was a 25-year-old princess, only months away from becoming queen. harry truman was completely smitten, announcing that when everyone becomes acquainted with you, they immediately followed that with you. like those who followed him, truman was surprised that elizabeth was so much more approachable than she seemed in her public image. dwight eisenhower had known princess elizabeth during world war ii when he was in london, he had what he called was a devoted friendship with king george next, and he entertained the teenage princess at his london apartment where he served her prime ribs of beef according to
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instructions, nice and rare. in 1957, she was given a short trip by her biographers. according to a horrible research and in an interview, rick buchanan, who was the protocol, was with the royal couple throughout their six days in the united states. which began in jamestown and williamsburg and ended in new york city and included an impromptu visit to a supermarket in suburban maryland. ruth gave me an impromptu and valuable personal perspective on her conduct its queen and her relationship with her husband, prince philip.
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one of my favorite descriptions was of a moment on the president's airplane when philip was immersed in the sports section of the newspaper and ignoring his wife's questions on the postcards to their children. when she pressed him, he got flustered. it was so interesting what was happening when her husband wasn't paying attention to her, he said. he also noticed that elizabeth was very certain and comfortable in her role and very much in control. yet, once when ruth was waiting at the white house for her husband, ruth heard her roaring with laughter at one of the protocols. you didn't realize that she had that kind of a hearty laugh, booth said. the minute she rounded the corner, she straightened up. this combination of public
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dignity exists to this day. the 1957 visit was remarkable for its informality and spontaneity. and the number of unguarded glimpses of the queen seen by the public. she has specifically asked what to see what she called an american football match. twigg university of maryland and the university of north carolina, she went down on the field and chatted with the players. the governor of maryland, explained that her history of football going all the way back to the greeks and romans and the president at the university of maryland, even showed her how to throw a forward pass. she watched the game intensely, but she did see perturbed whenever the players through blocks.
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on the way to the stadium, she had spotted a supermarket, which was a phenomenon that was then unknown in britain. and she asked to see how american women went shopping. well, he visited was hastily arranged after the game, startling hundreds of shoppers. wearing a full-length mink coat, she and prince philip explored the supermarket like a pair of anthropologists in american culture. she marveled at the quantity and range of projects. the queen was particularly intrigued by the frozen chicken pot pies. and she quizzed the store's manager about refrigeration techniques and how the checkout counters worked. at her insistence, they arrived
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at their next stop, new york city, by water, which is something she had been dreaming about since childhood. squealed with tonight ungentle life. she compared to a rule of great tools. she ate a three course meal, which was highly unusual for a site, said she was never supposed to be filmed eating. when the royal couple left after midnight, their limousine was lit up the crowds lining the streets to see her in her glittering evening gown and her diamond tear a. many of the women were wearing bathrobes and they have curlers in her hair.
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look at all those people and then i close, she said to philip. i certainly would not come out in my might close to see anyone drive by, no matter who they were. the british people felt left out as they read about the queen's relaxed style that they had never seen. to them, she was still a distant presence. and it would be several decades before mingling with ordinary people would become standard operating procedure. why did she have to cross the atlantic to become real? wondered one newspaper in london after she returned home. with the exception of 14 hours in chicago for the opening of the st. lawrence seaway in 1959, the queen would not return to
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the united states for nearly another two decades. but she did entertain american presidents in britain. eisenhower made a very memorable visit to belgium world, where she invited him to a picnic and cooked scones on a griddle for him. he was so impressed that he asked her for the recipe, which she wrote out in longhand. apologizing that the quantity was for 16 people and adding that the mixture needed a great deal of beating. she gave jack and jackie kennedy a dinner at buckingham palace, which was the first time the president had dined there when woodrow wilson was entertained by the queen's grandfather, king george five. yet, the 31-year-old first lady was surprisingly critical ..as not impressed by the
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flowers were the furnishings at buckingham palace. or by the queens evening gown and what she described as her flat hairstyle. jackie said that when she also complained about the pressure of being on tour, the queen gave her a glance of and advice that one gets classy with time. when the president was assassinated in 1963, she was prevented from her doctors from attending the memorial service at the intensity was the beetle. yet she insisted on having her own memorial service at st. george's chapel windsor and she invited 400 american service men to attend the service and have a
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floor of windsor castle afterwards. when winston churchill died in january of 1965 the queen gave him the supreme honor of a full state funeral. lyndon johnson desperately wanted to be there to represent his country but he was in hospital with acute bronchitis. 4 three days johnson pressed for special accommodations including bringing his own chair to the funeral, arranging shelter from the rain, and being allowed to sit while others were standing. the queen granted all of his requests and thoughtfully invited him to a private audience at buckingham palace after the funeral. unfortunately johnson's doctors forbade him from making the trip, denying him his only chance to meet the queen. richard nixon had been very
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eager to please the queen since their first meeting in 1957. when he gave her a book titled the art of readable writing, in an effort to improve her public speaking which had been criticized in the british press. nixon also hosted a stag dinner for prince philip in the white house which prompted barbara walters to scold him for not including any women. nixon and retained the queen's two older children, prince charles and princess anne for two days in washington even trying to fix the charles with his daughter, tricia. nixon had lunch with the queen ones at checkers, the prime minister's residence in the country, but never managed to get the queen over here for a state visit. his successor, gerald ford, for her ambitious tour during the
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bicentennial celebrations in 1976, he famously danced with the queen at the white house to the unfortunate choice of the lady is a tramp. which those who know her said that she probably found very funny. both the queen and prince philip enjoyed it when planning those somewhat -- as it did at the british ambassador's reception for 1600 people during the washington tour. elizabeth was being trailed by tv camera men with very bright lights when suddenly the camera men disappeared and ran for the front door of the ambassador's residence because elizabeth taylor was making her grand entrance. the ambassador was furious but the queen was merely amused. her press secretary told me,
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because for wants somebody else was the center of media attention. in private during that trip she demonstrated the secret of her sturdy stance that allows her to indoor long hours on her feet. lifting her evening gown above her ankles she told the wife of her foreign secretary one plant's one's feet apart like this, always keep them parallel, make sure your weight is evenly distributed, and that is all there is to it. the queen was accompanied on the tour by her good friend who was her first and only american lady in waiting. who grew up in new york and -- in newport, rhode island. as wife of one of the queen's friends since childhood, she had been entertained frequently at the queen's home but when the
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queen asked her in 1973 to join her household, she at first declined suggesting she would get someone more steeped in it all but the queen of insisted and genie became one of her longest serving attendants. the temperature during her long days of engagements and what abouts on the bicentennial to work pushed 100 degrees but the queen never faltered. luckily i don't mind the heat, she said while surrounded by a sweltering crowd in manhattan. it was another example of what a number of people told me about the queen. that she does not perspire, even in the hottest temperatures. this is something i actually witnessed what i was on tour in the tropics with the queen and her face remained throughout remarkably dry. one of the queen's cousins, lady pamela, explained to me in her
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own in a noble way that the queen's skin does not run water. while it may look good, and helps keep her clothing not decreased, it does make her uncomfortable. the queen has a pleasing encounter with jimmy carter during his first trip outside the united states when he attended a black-tie dinner at buckingham palace in 19707. but he managed to offend her mother by enthusiastically kissing her on the lips. i took a shark step backwards, the queen mother recalled, not quite far enough. she later said she had not been kissed that way since the death of her husband 25 years earlier. of friendship between the royal family and ronald and nancy reagan was the closest of all
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the american presidents. the reagans had first met prince charles when he was in california while serving with the royal navy in the early 1970s and they had an equally fond relationship with the queen and prince philip as well as princess margaret, the queen mother and her cousin, princess alexandra. they kept an expensive personal correspondence the by was given permission to read at the presidential library in california, the reagan library, and the letters tell a story of a fall of fullness on both sides over more than three decades. a correspondence that continues to this day with nancy reagan. in june of 1982 when the reagans were in europe for a summit meeting as the queen invited them to stay at windsor castle which was the first personal invitation for an american presidential couple. not only did she arranged for a dedicated telephone line, at she
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had the first shower installed in the more than 900-year-old castle because she was told that is what the president needed. there was a family dinner on the first site and the following morning the queen invited to reagans to breakfast. it was surprisingly in formal, nancy reagan told me. we had to walk through their bedroom and line up on a table where boxes of cereal, i said to prince charles, what do i do? and he said help yourself. it wasn't anything like i imagine, she said. the most famous part of that visit was the ride on horseback by ronald reagan and the queen which was a photo opportunity that had taken months of orchestration by white house officials and british diplomats. reagan told reporters afterwards that the queen was charming and down to earth and he observed
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that she was really in charge of that animal. reagan returned to favor the following february when they invited the royal couple on a ten day visit to california, fulfilling the queen's long-held dream of seeing the west coast of the united states. but instead of the fabled california sunshine, it poured from san diego to san francisco. it even rained out in the desert in palm springs during their emotion at their home of former british ambassador walter adams. when the queen insisted on braving the elements to tour the grounds of the 200 acre estate, she hopped into the maintenance car that was filled with mops and brooms. reagan had promised the queen a western-style ride on horseback, on a mountaintop near santa
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barbara. the relentless downpour forced the host to arrange 4 wheel drive vehicles to climb the seven miles of hair can turns up the mountain. despite concerns about the dangers, of the queen was eager to take the treacherous route, out wearing black rubber boots and a macintosh, she said if we can get there, let's go. the ride on horseback had to be canceled and a thick fog blocked the view but the two couples at a lunch of pacos, enchiladas and retried beans. the queen said to reagan's deputy chief of staff on their ride back down the mountain, that was so enjoyable, especially the use beans. in san francisco, there was a black-tie dinner in honor of the
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queen and prince philip at the d on memorial museum. watching the clock, mike deaver asked the been's private secretary why he was taking so long to get ready. the queen needs her tiara, more replied. he explained she has a kit with tools that she uses to decorate certainty ares by hooking on pearls or rubies or sapphires or emeralds depending on what she is wearing. when i asked the crown jeweler david thomas about this, he said it is in fact a pastime that she very much enjoys. the queen, prince philip had an easy camaraderie with george h. w. bush and his wife barbara in part because they were all close
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contemporaries. the 40 first president, they had both seen action in the pacific in world war ii which gave them a common bond. the queen is rather formal, bush told me, but i never found her reserve standoffish. it is hard to explain really. but she is very easy to be with. conversation comes easily. after the white house welcoming ceremony for her third state visit in 1991 when presidential aides forgot to provide a step for the podium that had been designed for the considerably taller president. while making her remarks the cluster of microphones obscured the queen's face, offering tv viewers what appeared to be a talking purple and white striped have. the queen laughed after words and another moment slightly gone
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wrong, her tumor made it all seem fine, george bush said. he also marvel at her stamina at age 65. at the state dinner he observed her fast-paced had left even the secret service gasping. one of the queen's private secretaries once said that she had two great assets. first of all, she sleeps very well, secondly she has got very good legs. she is, he said, as tough as a yak. i got another in sight from a woman who for many years oversaw blair house which is where the queen and prince philip were saying during that visit and she happened to see elizabeth one morning before she set off on a half-dozen engagements and recalled for me that the queen
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was standing completely by herself as if she was looking inward, getting sacked, she said. this was how she wound up barbarities. there was no chit chat but standing absolutely still and waiting, resting within herself. it was a remarkable coping mechanism. bill and hillary clinton had a warm relationship with the queen as well. like other presidents clinton was impressed with what he described as the clever manner in which she discussed public issues, probing me for information and insights with out venturing too far into expressing her own political views. he observed the circumstance of her birth, she might have been a successful politician or diplomat. as it was, she had to be both, and without quite seeming to be
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either. george w. bush, got off on a right foot, literally, with the queen during her 1991 visit. the president's 44-year-old elvis son was wearing custom-made cowboy boots to his parents's private luncheon upstairs at the white house and he told the queen that they read usually printed with texas rangers. is that on those boots, the queen asked? know, young george joked, god save the queen. she laughed and she asked are you the black sheep in the family? i guess so, he said. when the queen replied all families have them, he asked who is yours? don't answer that, said his mother, which led the queen escape from the conversation. the 40 third president notice the queen's twinkle which he told me he took as a sign of an
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ease the spirit. george and laura bush for not only on a by the state visit that buckingham palace in 2003 but they hosted her for a state visit at the white house four years later. laura couldn't help noticing one of the queen's habits at the end of a meal that some people find surprising. she opened her handbag, pulled out a compact and reapply sir lipstick. some time later, laura made a similar cosmetic fix during a washington lady's luncheon and cheerfully said the queen told me it was all right to do this. before arriving at the white house in 2007, the queen and philip had attended the kentucky derby for the first time, and laura made certain to invite the winning jockey, calvin burrell to the state dinner. when the jockey and the queen met in the receiving line, burrell wrapped an arm around
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her and the first lady. the queen had by then become accustomed to american familiarity and didn't mind at all that he had reached -- breached protocol by touching her. a similar encounter led to headlines in the british tabloids when barack and michele obama visited buckingham palace for the first time in march of 2009. and reception for heads of state attending the g 20 summit between circulated informally through the crowd of high-powered guests. as michele and the queen were talking they turned toward a lady in waiting to show the difference in height. the queen is about 5 foot 3 or 5 put 4 and michele is nearly six feet. the first lady puts her arm round the queen responded by lightly and circling michele's waste.
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the palace videographer who recorded the encounter told me they were totally spontaneous gestures, but the tabloids made a fuss about what they called an unthinkable protocol violation by the american first lady. in fact the question was completely relaxed about what her top advisers called a display of affection and appreciation. 5 elizabeth's stay at the kentucky derby was arranged by one of her closest american friends, a former ambassador to britain and fellow thoroughbred breeder for during her fifth private holiday on his horse farm in kentucky. surfers vacation there had been in 1984 and it was such a novelty that when she landed in lexington a woman from customs and immigration would not admit her to the country without a passport. the state department protocol officer, who was accompanying the queen, tried to explain that
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the queen does not have a passport which is one of the oddities of her unusual status but the official resistance until a call to washington gave the queen clearance. the pattern of her stay held for all of her subsequent holidays. to see perspective stallions, mates and mayors and local racetracks, lunchs and 5 dinners from friends with the horse world. a senior adviser told me he saw an atmosphere of informality and getty that i never saw in england. no one was calling her ma'am or your majesty. she was laughing and joking and having fun. in 1984 she also state for a weekend in wyoming at a branch on the slopes of the bighorn mountains. her hosts were longtime racing
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manager and his wife jean, another american friend in the queen's inner circle. when they first met in london in 1955 jean was struck by what she described as the queen's steadiness. she is difficult to know, gene told me, but it is worth the wait. you sort of become friends. it takes a long time to know her. in wyoming the queen was able to relax completely, taking five mile walks on the 4,000 acre property and joining shooting parties as the guns brought down pheasants and partridges. she hosted dinner at the maverick supper club where she was quite perplexed by the process of ordering from a menu which she hadn't done before. went offered various sizes of filet mignon she asked for queen sized fillet cuts with hash
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browns, potatoes and onions, because i never tasted them before. on her departure she wrote a letter to ronald reagan describing the time she had done what she liked best in america, looking at beautiful thoroughbreds, and walking in the wide-open spaces by the mountains. the american west had long held a fascination for the queen, and one of her most intriguing american friends has been monty roberts, a california cowboy known as a horse whisperer for his humane techniques to train horses in a circular can. she was so impressed by what she had read about his approach that she invited him to demonstrate his techniques at windsor castle in 1989. come show me this client's cage of yours, she said. do i need a whip and a chain? as monty recalled to me she said
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it not only with a twinkle but that her method of addressing him, clearly her talent put him at ease. demonstration was a big success and the queen and the cowboys struck up a fast friendship. over lunch in the castle gardens she asked him numerous questions. i saw a mind open up, he recalls. when he told her something that she didn't know, she would sit on the edge of her chair with the humility of a first grader. she also gave him advice on how to present his concepts to skeptical group of english trainers. you need to ease up, he said. so you don't appear to be too competitive. the queen encouraged him to write his memoirs, critique his drafts and even found him a publisher. they remained in contact by phone at windsor several times a
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year, 2011, she awarded robert by making him an honorary member of the royal victorian order. when her oldest court, monty, died several weeks ago at age 13 it was revealed he had been named after monty roberts. her last visit to the united states was in july of 2010 to way a wreath at ground zero in new york city and she spent nearly half an hour in record shattering heat of 100 degrees reading families of those who lost their lives on 9/11. debbie fulmer, the widow of a firefighter who died on 9/11, echoed the observation of others when she told me we were all pouring sweat but she didn't have a bead of sweat on her. i thought this is what it is
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like to the boil. the queen has shown us over the years how to be royal in so many ways, her sense of duty and her professionalism as well as her wisdom and her good judgment which has endeared her not only to her subjects but to so many people in this country. on her first state visit in 1957, she emphasized the common language and heritage of history between britain and america and she praised the and lying and skilled statesman who founded the american republic. she has repeated her pledge of friendship many times over the years with her words and her actions and her clear affection for america's predictions, its people and its leaders. the queen has helped in ways beyond measure to in short that
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the special relationship between britain and the united states transcends political differences wherever they may arise. thank you and i would be delighted to take questions. [applause] >> i am curious if you could tell us what is in her handbag as alluded to and under their legal system, is queen or king, head of state changes, is that the most important political title under system or is it something else? i have not gotten a reply. >> first of all the handbag. i have three eyewitnesses' and the most amusing one was the manager of the football team who sat next to her at the luncheon
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and she opened her handbag and gotten a very good look. it is just like anybody's hand bag. it has a calling purse with no quince a net. it had her makeup, had some sweetener for her coffee and a comb and lipstick. i spoke to one of her ladies in waiting and she said you have to understand that the queen is practical. she carries things she needs so she has a handkerchief and often carry lozenges. it is up to the lady in waiting to carry things like extra pairs of gloves, needles and thread and things like that. she is practical and she wants to have these things close at hand. one more thing a friend told me about that she had seen when she went to dinner some years ago with one of the queen's cousins, she was sitting close to her and
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watched as the queen opened her handbag and pull out a suction cup and proceeded to spit into the suction cup, attached to the suction cup with a hook and she took it and put it underneath the table so she could hang her handbag on it. that is the essence of practicality. as far as the most important title, obviously the monarchies goes back a thousand years, it is often said that the power and glory in britain are kept separate and the power is obviously invested in the prime minister who is the leader of the party that wins in a general election. the queen has specific powers under the constitution to be consulted and to encourage and to warren, and she does that in all of her private audiences with the prime ministers and
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many other government officials, members of the clergy, members of the judiciary who come to her for complete confidential audiences which are extremely important for them. [inaudible] >> the most important political title like it is under our system? >> the british constitution is so different from ours. it is an accumulation of laws and traditions and common-law over the years. there are subsets of the queen, that is what the term is. i need to ask that we cease asking questions temporarily. please the crowd for more questions from the audience. c-span will be here shortly to continue. they will be taking questions from the history and biography pavilion and also from national callers. please stay with us. we would love to have you

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